This means site owners will begin to lose valuable data that they depend on, to understand how their sites are found through Google. The keyword data can be useful, though — and access to backlink data is essential these days. Optimise this with searcher intent in mind. I have seen pages with 50 words outrank pages with , , or words.
In , Google is a lot better at hiding away those pages, though. Creating deep, information rich pages focuses the mind when it comes to producing authoritative, useful content. Every site is different. Some pages, for example, can get away with 50 words because of a good link profile and the domain it is hosted on. After a while, you get an idea how much text you need to use to get a page on a certain domain into Google. One thing to note — the more text you add to the page, as long as it is unique, keyword rich and relevant, the more that page will be rewarded with more visitors from Google.
There is no optimal number of words on a page for placement in Google. Every website — every page — is different from what I can see. Google will probably reward you on some level — at some point — if there is lots of unique text on all your pages. There is no one-size-fits-all keyword density, no optimal percentage guaranteed to rank any page at number 1.
I aim to include related terms , long-tail variants and synonyms in Primary Content — at least ONCE, as that is all some pages need. Search engines have kind of moved on from there. It often gets a page booted out of Google but it depends on the intent and the trust and authority of a site. Such pages are created using words likely to be contained in queries issued by users. Keyword stuffing can range from mildly annoying to users, to complete gibberish. Pages created with the intent of luring search engines and users, rather than providing meaningful MC to help users, should be rated Lowest.
Just because someone else is successfully doing it do not automatically think you will get away with it. Aaron Wall. Aaron Wall, It is time to focus on the user when it comes to content marketing, and the bottom line is you need to publish unique content free from any low-quality signals if expect some sort of traction in Google SERPs Search Engine Result Pages. SEO copywriting is a bit of a dirty word — but the text on a page still requires optimised, using familiar methods, albeit published in a markedly different way than we, as SEO, used to get away with.
When it comes to writing SEO-friendly text for Google, we must optimise for u ser intent, not simply what a user typed into Google. Google has plenty of options when rewriting the query in a contextual way, based on what you searched for previously, who you are, how you searched and where you are at the time of the search. Yes, you must write naturally and succinctly in , but if you have no idea the keywords you are targeting, and no expertise in the topic, you will be left behind those that can access this experience.
Naturally, how much text you need to write, how much you need to work into it, and where you ultimately rank, is going to depend on the domain reputation of the site you are publishing the article on. SEOs have understood user search intent to fall broadly into the following categories and there is an excellent post on Moz about this. When it comes to rating user satisfaction , there are a few theories doing the rounds at the moment that I think are sensible.
Google could be tracking user satisfaction by proxy. A user clicks a result and bounces back to the SERP, pogo-sticking between other results until a long click is observed. Google has this information if it wants to use it as a proxy for query satisfaction. For more on this, I recommend this article on the time to long click. Once you have the content, you need to think about supplementary content and secondary links that help users on their journey of discovery. A website that does not link out to ANY other website could be interpreted accurately to be at least, self-serving.
For me, a perfect title tag in Google is dependant on a number of factors and I will lay down a couple below but I have since expanded page title advice on another page link below ;. I think title tags, like everything else, should probably be as simple as possible, with the keyword once and perhaps a related term if possible. If you are relying on meta-keyword optimisation to rank for terms, your dead in the water. What about other search engines that use them? Hang on while I submit my site to those 75, engines first [sarcasm! Yes, ten years ago early search engines liked looking at your meta-keywords.
Forget about meta-keyword tags — they are a pointless waste of time and bandwidth. So you have a new site. Sometimes competitors might use the information in your keywords to determine what you are trying to rank for, too…. Forget whether or not to put your keyword in it, make it relevant to a searcher and write it for humans, not search engines. If you want to have this word meta description which accurately describes the page you have optimised for one or two keyword phrases when people use Google to search, make sure the keyword is in there.
Google looks at the description but it probably does not use the description tag to rank pages in a very noticeable way. Sometimes, I will ask a question with my titles, and answer it in the description, sometimes I will just give a hint. That is a lot more difficult in as search snippets change depending on what Google wants to emphasise to its users. Sometimes I think if your titles are spammy, your keywords are spammy, and your meta description is spammy, Google might stop right there — even they probably will want to save bandwidth at some time. So, the meta description tag is important in Google, Yahoo and Bing and every other engine listing — very important to get it right.
Googles says you can programmatically auto-generate unique meta descriptions based on the content of the page. No real additional work is required to generate something of this quality: the price and length are the only new data, and they are already displayed on the site. I think it is very important to listen when Google tells you to do something in a very specific way, and Google does give clear advice in this area. By default, Googlebot will index a page and follow links to it.
At a page level — it is a powerful way to control if your pages are returned in search results pages. I have never experienced any problems using CSS to control the appearance of the heading tags making them larger or smaller. How many words in the H1 Tag? As many as I think is sensible — as short and snappy as possible usually.
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As always be sure to make your heading tags highly relevant to the content on that page and not too spammy, either. Use ALT tags or rather, ALT Attributes for descriptive text that helps visitors — and keep them unique where possible, like you do with your titles and meta descriptions. The title attribute should contain information about what will happen when you click on the image. From my tests, no.
From observing how my test page ranks — Google is ignoring keywords in the acronym tag. You do not need clean URLs in site architecture for Google to spider a site successfully confirmed by Google in , although I do use clean URLs as a default these days, and have done so for years. However — there it is demonstrable benefit to having keywords in URLs. The thinking is that you might get a boost in Google SERPs if your URLs are clean — because you are using keywords in the actual page name instead of a parameter or session ID number which Google often struggles with.
I optimise as if they do, and when asked about keywords in urls Google did reply:. Then it is fair to say you do get a boost because keywords are in the actual anchor text link to your site, and I believe this is the case, but again, that depends on the quality of the page linking to your site. That is, if Google trusts it and it passes Pagerank! Sometimes I will remove the stop-words from a URL and leave the important keywords as the page title because a lot of forums garble a URL to shorten it. Most forums will be nofollowed in , to be fair, but some old habits die-hard.
It should be remembered it is thought although Googlebot can crawl sites with dynamic URLs; it is assumed by many webmasters there is a greater risk that it will give up if the URLs are deemed not important and contain multiple variables and session IDs theory. As standard , I use clean URLs where possible on new sites these days, and try to keep the URLs as simple as possible and do not obsess about it.
Having a keyword in your URL might be the difference between your site ranking and not — potentially useful to take advantage of long tail search queries. I prefer absolute URLs. Google will crawl either if the local setup is correctly developed. This is entirely going to a choice for your developers. Some developers on very large sites will always prefer relative URLS.
I have not been able to decide if there is any real benefit in terms of ranking boost to using either. I used to prefer files like. Google treats some subfolders….. Personally, as an SEO, I prefer subdirectories rather than subdomains if given the choice, unless it really makes sense to house particular content on a subdomain, rather than the main site as in the examples John mentions.
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I thought that was a temporary solution. If you have the choice, I would choose to house content on a subfolder on the main domain. Recent research would still indicate this is the best way to go:. I prefer PHP these days even with flat documents as it is easier to add server side code to that document if I want to add some sort of function to the site. It is important that what Google Googlebot sees is exactly what a visitor would see if they visit your site. Blocking Google can sometimes result in a real ranking problem for websites.
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If Google has problems accessing particular parts of your website, it will tell you in Search Console. If you are a website designer, you might want to test your web design and see how it looks in different versions of Microsoft Windows Internet Explorer. Does Google rank a page higher because of valid code? I love creating accessible websites but they are a bit of a pain to manage when you have multiple authors or developers on a site. If your site is so badly designed with a lot of invalid code even Google and browsers cannot read it, then you have a problem. Where possible, if commissioning a new website, demand, at least, minimum web accessibility compliance on a site there are three levels of priority to meet , and aim for valid HTML and CSS.
It is one form of optimisation Google will not penalise you for. I link to relevant internal pages in my site when necessary. I silo any relevance or trust mainly via links in text content and secondary menu systems and between pages that are relevant in context to one another. I do not obsess about site architecture as much as I used to….
This is normally triggered when Google is confident this is the site you are looking for, based on the search terms you used. Sitelinks are usually reserved for navigational queries with a heavy brand bias, a brand name or a company name, for instance, or the website address. Google likes to seem to mix this up a lot, perhaps to offer some variety, and probably to obfuscate results to minimise or discourage manipulation. Sometimes it returns pages that leave me scratching my head as to why Google selected a particular page appears.
Sitelinks are not something can be switched on or off, although you can control to some degree the pages are selected as site links. This works for me, it allows me to share the link equity I have with other sites while ensuring it is not at the expense of pages on my domain. Try it. Check your pages for broken links. Seriously, broken links are a waste of link power and could hurt your site, drastically in some cases. Google is a link-based search engine — if your links are broken and your site is chock full of s you might not be at the races.
For example and I am talking internally here — if you took a page and I placed two links on it, both going to the same page? OK — hardly scientific, but you should get the idea. Or will it read the anchor text of both links, and give my page the benefit of the text in both links especially if the anchor text is different in both links? Will Google ignore the second link? What is interesting to me is that knowing this leaves you with a question. If your navigation array has your main pages linked to in it, perhaps your links in content are being ignored, or at least, not valued.
I think links in body text are invaluable. Does that mean placing the navigation below the copy to get a wide and varied internal anchor text to a page?
Also, as John Mueller points out, Google picks the best option to show users depending on who they are and where they are. So sometimes, your duplicate content will appear to users where relevant. This type of copying makes it difficult to find the exact matching original source.
These types of changes are deliberately done to make it difficult to find the original source of the content. How do you get two listings from the same website in the top ten results in Google instead of one in normal view with 10 results. Generally speaking, this means you have at least two pages with enough link equity to reach the top ten results — two pages very relevant to the search term.
You can achieve this with relevant pages, good internal structure and of course links from other websites. Some SERPs feature sites with more than two results from the same site. It is incredibly important in to create useful and proper pages. This will help prevent Google recording lots of autogenerated thin pages on your site both a security risk and a rankings risk.
I will highlight a poor page in my audits and actually programmatically look for signs of this issue when I scan a site. Use language that is friendly and inviting. Make sure your page uses the same look and feel including navigation as the rest of your site. Think about providing a way for users to report a broken link. In order to prevent pages from being indexed by Google and other search engines, make sure that your webserver returns an actual HTTP status code when a missing page is requested. A good page and proper setup prevents a lot of this from happening in the first place.
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Sometimes, the content is no longer available and the page displays an error message with this information. This is normal, and those individual non-functioning or broken pages on an otherwise maintained site should be rated Low quality. This is true even if other pages on the website are overall High or Highest quality.
The issue here is that Google introduces a lot of noise into that Crawl Errors report to make it unwieldy and not very user-friendly. A lot of broken links Google tells you about can often be totally irrelevant and legacy issues. Google could make it instantly more valuable by telling us which s are linked to from only external websites.
I also prefer to use Analytics to look for broken backlinks on a site with some history of migrations, for instance. John has clarified some of this before, although he is talking specifically I think about errors found by Google in Search Console formerly Google Webmaster Tools :. If you are making websites and want them to rank, the and Quality Raters Guidelines document is a great guide for Webmasters to avoid low-quality ratings and potentially avoid punishment algorithms. You can use redirects to redirect pages, sub-folders or even entire websites and preserve Google rankings that the old page, sub-folder or websites enjoyed.
This is the best way to ensure that users and search engines are directed to the correct page. Redirecting multiple old pages to one new page works too if the information is there on the new page that ranked the old page. Pages should be thematically connected if you want the redirects to have a SEO benefit. My general rule of thumb is to make sure the information and keywords on the old page are featured prominently in the text of the new page — stay on the safe side.
You need to keep these redirects in place for instance on a linux apache server, in your htaccess file forever. John Mueller, Google. If you need a page to redirect old URLs to, consider your sitemap or contact page. As long as the intention is to serve users and create content that is satisfying and more up-to-date — Google is OK with this.
As a result, that URL may be crawled and its content indexed. However, Google will also treat certain mismatched or incorrect redirects as soft type pages, too. And this is a REAL problem in , and a marked change from the way Google worked say ten years ago. It essentially means that Google is not going to honour your redirect instruction and that means you are at risk of knobbling any positive signals you are attempting to transfer through a redirect.
Sometimes it is useful to direct visitors from a usability point of view, but sometimes that usability issue will impact SEO benefits from old assets. If you attempt to fool, trick, or deceive Google, be ready for trouble. Knowing that Google simply wants to deliver a good experience to end users, you must deliver that experience for them. For example, this page I hope! If this page was simply filled with spam and low quality information, Google would never rank it. So, as always, just create as much high quality content as you can. I began blogging back in and went full time in It is taking longer to build and establish trust and the Google sandbox has gotten bigger.
Back when I first started, I could rank a site and bring in a decent amount of traffic in about 3 to 6 months. These days? With literally billions of new websites started every year, Google has a bigger and bigger pool to choose from. Yes, you can still succeed online, but the time it takes to succeed will be longer in than it was in If you have been planning on starting a new site, this is the time to do it.
It will just get harder from here. In the end, nobody really knows what specific changes Google will make. We know Google will make more than algorithm changes in and most of those will go totally unnoticed, just like what happened last year. We also know there will likely be at least a couple larger algorithm changes in with hints of a Penguin update early in the year. While sometimes good businesses get caught up in well intended algorithm changes, the main people who need to worry about Google algorithm updates in are those who use deceitful tactics, black hat SEO, or do not provide a true resource for people.
Keep the quality high and keep building. If you do that, you should have a great year in As someone who has been extremely successful with SEO, here are my predictions for Google algorithm changes. It should be an interesting year! Mike Rogers.
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